The City of Columbia and Boone County has issued Public Health Order 2020-11 and 2020-11(c). These orders go into effect at 12 a.m. on Sept. 18 and are set to expire at 11:59 p.m. on Oct. 6, unless otherwise extended, rescinded or modified. Click here for more information.

The Boone County CARES Act Funding Opportunity website is now available at The site offers information about the CARES Act, links to resources, instructions on how to apply for CARES Act funding, a contact form to request more information, and access to apply for CARES Act funding. The County of Boone has implemented a portal-based application system to streamline applications. The portal is now live and the Boone County Commission is accepting applications for CARES Act funding distributions starting  Tuesday, September 8, 2020. The online portal will allow the Commission to review all applications for funding and allocate the money so as to meet the greatest needs in a manner that is both transparent and accountable.

The City of Columbia Housing Programs Division is offering grant funding for locally owned small businesses with 5 or fewer employees.  The Microenterprise Recovery Loan Program application portal will be open and available to applicants on September 15, 2020 from 8am to 5pm.  Eligible businesses may receive a $5,000 forgivable loan to cover business interruption, adaptation and resiliency expenses in response to the impact of COVID-19.  A list of program guidelines and required application materials can be found on the City’s webpage at:  opens in a new window  An employee income certification form included as a requirement within the application can also be downloaded and completed prior to the opening of the application portal.  A link to the portal can be found here:   opens in a new window

 The Missouri Women’s Business Center will present a Small Business Grant Application Bootcamp September 1, 6 – 7:30 p.m., via Zoom. The bootcamp will help you get your paperwork ready to apply for COVID-19 relief grants and other funding opportunities. Registration is required at

Sean Boshard, SBA Outreach and Marketing Specialist located at REDI, and Tom Daiber, Lead Lender Relations Specialist for the SBA St. Louis district will be conducting two webinars on Paycheck Protection Program Forgiveness, September 4 and September 16, 2020, both at 9 a.m. The webinars will be via Microsoft Teams, which has a 250 participant limit. Registration is required. For more information and to register, visit  (September 4 session) and/or  (September 16 session)

The City of Columbia and Boone County have issued orders extending Reopening Plan – Phase 2, Step 3, effective August 28, 2020.  Click here for more information.

The City of Columbia will be investing $575,000 in local small businesses and is prioritizing outreach to local minority and women owned businesses.  The City is awaiting the release of funds at the federal level and anticipates opening the application process in mid-August.  Please join us the evening of August 6th from 7:30-8:30pm to learn how to navigate the application process and how to find additional assistance. The meeting will be hosted Via Zoom: Please visit for information about the meeting and what materials are required to apply.

Due to the continued and increasing spread of COVID-19, the City of Columbia has adopted an ordinance requiring face masks to be worn when people are in contact with others who are not household members and social distancing of at least six feet is not possible. Read the ordinance and an FAQ on the ordinance at the following links: City of Columbia Face Mask OrdinanceMask Ordinance FAQ

Boone County residents impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic can now access mental health supports through the University of Missouri Psychological Services Clinic. Adults can receive up to five teletherapy sessions at no cost thanks to funding provided through the Boone County Community Health/Medical Fund. To get connected with services or to learn more, contact the MU Psychological Services Clinic at 573-882-4677, email, or visit

The University has published The Show Me Renewal plan, outlining the changes to expect for the fall semester, and the impact those changes will have on many aspects of campus life. The plan is a living document, as flexibility and an ability to pivot are essential in this evolving global pandemic. Learn more and read the plan at

The City of Columbia and Boone County have issued orders for Reopening Plan – Phase 2, Step 3, effective June 23, 2020. This order has been extended until August 10.  Click here for more information.

The City of Columbia and Boone County have issued orders for Reopening Plan – Phase 2, Step 2, effective May 26, 2020. Click here for more information.

The City of Columbia and Boone County have issued orders for Reopening Plan – Phase 2, Step 1, effective May 4, 2020.  Click here for more information.

The City of Columbia offers current COVID-19/coronavirus information and resource links at The City of Columbia Contact Center is available at 573-874-2489.

The Columbia Chamber of Commerce offers updates and business resources at

The Missouri Women’s Business Center offers help and resources at

The City of Columbia Housing Programs Division’s Microenterprise Recovery Loan Program is no longer accepting applications at this time. This program provided fully forgivable loan for qualified local microenterprises with 5 or fewer employees.  Applications opened Wednesday, April 15th. For more information, visit opens in a new window

The Columbia Convention and Visitors Bureau offers information on local resources as well as information for visitors and Columbia’s tourism partners at 

The District provides a list of businesses open, closed and/or offering curbside pickup at

The Loop provides a list of Loop business who are providing food delivery, curbside pickup, phone consultations and online shopping at Additional information is available at

The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and Verizon has provided several rounds of grants to WMBE businesses facing immediate financial pressure because of COVID-19—especially entrepreneurs of color, women-owned businesses and other enterprises in historically underserved communities. Please list Rural LISC and CMCA as the referral entity (these are our local entities). To register to be alerted to future rounds of funding please visit at

opens in a new windowCoMoHelps ( opens in a new window ) is a joint effort of Heart of Missouri United Way, City of Columbia, Boone County, and Community Foundation of Central Missouri to coordinate monetary donations and volunteers in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Great Circle is here for our community.  If you know of anyone who may be struggling with the uncertainty of this time, please share our GCHelps line at 1-844-424-3577.  Callers will be triaged and immediately connected to an appropriate Great Circle clinician. This service is available to anyone of any age as part of our Community Counseling program.


The Department of Economic Development announced the opening of a second application cycle for the Governor’s Emergency Broadband Investment Program which will provide $2 million in funding to broadband providers. The application cycle opened today, Tuesday, September 8, 2020, and will close at noon on Thursday, September 17, 2020. Applications will be reviewed upon submission until funds are exhausted. Grant funds may be used to pay for costs associated with deployment of broadband to unserved and underserved areas of the state. For more information, visit:

The Missouri Development Finance Board has announced the new Small Communities Operating Capital Loan Relief Program for Missouri incorporated municipalities under 25,000 in population. This program will allow $5 million to be dispersed to communities dealing with the challenges associated with COVID-19. The loans are being offered to assist cities in the maintenance of existing governmental services by  replacing tax, fees, or other governmental revenues that have been lost due to COVID-19. Loan amounts range from $50,000 to $300,000 with a 0% interest rate in the first year. Applications are due by August 31, 2020.  For more information visit

The Show Me Strong Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Retooling Program provides grant funding to manufacturers, nonprofit organizations, and other entities to reimburse certain costs for retooling existing facilities by purchasing necessary equipment and services to manufacture critically needed PPE for use in Missouri. This grant funding will assist entities with creating new business while contributing to the fight against the current COVID-19 public health emergency. Learn more at

The Small Business Grant Program is to provide grants to small businesses and family-owned farms for reimbursement of costs of business interruption caused by required closures in connection with the COVID-19 public health emergency. The Department is focused on impacting the hardest hit industries, which include retail trade, accommodation and food service and health care, in addition to family-owned farms. However, the grant is not limited to these industries. Learn more at

The Missouri Chamber of Commerce offers resources at, and its Uniting for Recovery Return to Work Guide at

MOSourceLink offers a list of business resources at, and a page specifically for small business financing during COVID-19 at  opens in a new window MOSourceLink offers Resource Network Zoom meetings every Thursday at 10:30 a.m., at opens in a new window, Meeting ID: 754 940 742

The Missouri Small Business Development Center offers resources at

Missouri State resources for businesses can be found at opens in a new 

The State of Missouri is seeking manufacturers that would like to make personal protective equipment (PPE), or have available PPE to sell. For more information, visit

opens in a new window is State of Missouri resource for individuals that may have lost a job, or looking for new employment. Employers that need to fill positions with qualified workers can also use this site to connect with job seekers. All services are available to job seekers and employers at no cost. The best way to access these Missouri Job Center services during this time is online: opens in a new window

The Missouri Department of Economic Development’s One Start Team hiring portal for people looking for jobs can be found at opens in a new window  To include your business’s job postings on this list, email to opens in a new your company name; location of position; company contact with email address; if individual should apply directly to company website to apply (if yes, provide link if possible); if resume needs to be sent and if email of company contact to send it to; position(s) for which the company is hiring (manufacturing, call center, etc); shifts for which are being hired; full-time, part-time or both.

MOSourceLink offers a list of business resources at, and a page specifically for small business financing during COVID-19 at  opens in a new window

Missouri Enterprises offers information COVID-19 Information for Manufacturers at

The Missouri School Boards Association has published recommendations for re-opening schools, Pandemic Recovery Considerations.


Information about the SBA Paycheck Protection Program can be found at:

SBA Disaster Loan process information is available at  opens in a new window  Small businesses can apply now to get a $10,000 cash advance if they qualify for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL).  If they do qualify for the EIDL, but then also qualify for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), they then can apply for it and roll the EIDL into the PPP loan.  Businesses can have multiple SBA loans without penalty.  The U.S. Small Business Administration is has made available Coronavirus (COVID-19) Disaster Relief Lending. The Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance declaration issued by the SBA  makes loans available statewide in Missouri to small businesses and private, non-profit organizations to help alleviate economic injury caused by the Coronavirus (COVID-19).  Applicants will be able to apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at opens in a new window Read more at  The Women’s Business Center (573-818-2980) and the Small Business Development Center ( opens in a new can help with these applications.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce unveiled its opens in a new windowSave Small Business Initiative to address the immediate needs of the small business community, mitigate closures and job losses, and mobilize support for long-term recovery in the wake of the economic destruction of the COVID-19 pandemic. The U.S. Chamber Foundation is supporting the supplemental financial assistance by launching their  opens in a new windowSave Small Business Fund. Funded by contributions from corporate and philanthropic partners, the U.S. Chamber Foundation will be providing $5,000 supplemental grants to small employers in economically vulnerable communities. Applications for the Save Small Business Grant Fund will open Monday, April 20 at 3 p.m. ET.  There are several eligibility requirements which can be found  opens in a new windowhere.  For more information on the Save Small Business Grant Fund including qualifications, the application process and FAQs, please  opens in a new windowclick here.

The U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship offers information and links to resources at  U.S. Senator Roy Blunt offers coronavirus crisis resources at U.S. Senator Josh Hawley offers coronavirus crisis resources at

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) offers an explanation of the Expanded Medical Leave program that was part of the Families First Coronavirus Bill at

The CDC website can be found at



Call the Missouri Department of Health and Human Services 24-hour hotline at 877-435-8411, if you are need of immediate help.


Columbia and Boone County modifies Phase 2, Step 3

Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services (PHHS) Director Stephanie Browning has issued Public Health Order 2020-11 and 2020-11(c). These orders go into effect at 12 a.m. on Sept. 18 and are set to expire at 11:59 p.m. on Oct. 6, unless otherwise extended, rescinded or modified.

Click here to read the City of Columbia Order.

Click here to read the Boone County Order.

Click here to read Frequently Asked Questions about the orders.

All restrictions under the previous health orders remain in effect. There are modifications to the order detailed below.

  • Entertainment venues, bars and restaurants serving alcohol must close by 10:30 p.m. The restrictions on stopping alcohol service at 9 p.m. is no longer in effect.
  • Bars, restaurants and other food establishments that do not comply with the Orders are considered to be in violation of the food code and may require the establishment to discontinue operations and remain closed until an Operational Plan is submitted and approved by PHHS as stated in section 1.20.
  • Operational Plans are now required to be submitted 14 days in advance of an event rather than the previous requirement of 30 days.

Boone County has seen a decrease in the number of COVID-19 cases since the order went into effect on Aug. 28. The five day average of new positive cases peaked on Sept. 5 at 143.4, but later fell to 65.2 on Sept. 16. This decrease was in the three weeks following the order, suggesting that restrictions in place are lowering the opportunities for transmission of the virus.

“While this is a promising change in our data, we are cautiously optimistic,” said Browning. “We hope that extending this order can help continue slowing the spread of COVID-19 so that we are able to begin slowly loosening restrictions without seeing increased cases again.”

PHHS is working to meet all reopening criteria, including the ability to maintain active disease investigation, contact tracing and monitoring. PHHS continues to address this by hiring additional staff with CARES Act funding.

Boone County residents can take simple steps to protect themselves and the people they care about by:

  • Wear a mask when you leave home.
  • Keep at least 6 feet of distance from anyone you do not live with.
  • Keep gatherings small and outside if possible.
  • Wash your hands, cover your cough, and keep up your best hygiene and sanitation.
  • Stay home if you’re sick.
  • Contact your medical provider and seek testing if you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or have been knowingly exposed to the virus through close contact.

Columbia and Boone County extend Phase 2, Step 3 with amended restrictions

On August 28, 2020, the City of Columbia and Boone County extended issues for Reopening Plan – Phase 2, Step 3, with amended restrictions. The orders will go into effect at noon on August 28.

Click here to read the City of Columbia Order.

Click here to read the Boone County Order.

Click here to read Frequently Asked Questions about the orders.

Modifications from previous Orders include:

  • Restaurants and bars serving alcohol are required to stop serving alcohol at 9 p.m. and shall close no later than 10 p.m. Restaurants that do not serve alcohol are not required to close at 10 p.m.
    • Restaurants and bars serving alcohol may conduct curbside pickup and delivery of food items only after 10 p.m.
  • Entertainment venues are required to close at 10 p.m. Any entertainment venue that serves alcohol must stop serving alcohol at 9 p.m. Entertainment venues can continue to operate with 100 people or less, provided an operational plan has been submitted to PHHS. In addition, they must meet the following requirements:
    • Dance floors at entertainment venues shall be closed for dancing. Owners may repurpose the dance floor for table seating or other authorized uses if approved by PHHS in an Operational Plan.
    • All food and beverage at an entertainment venue must be consumed while seated.
    • Table seating shall be limited to a maximum of ten (10) people per table. Tables must be socially distanced.
    • Any person at an entertainment venue who is not seated must comply with Face Mask Requirements*.
  • All public and private gatherings not described within these orders are limited to 20 people or less. Social distancing and face mask requirements* must be observed at all gatherings.
    • Any large group gathering or event held at a business or institution open to the public is limited to 50% occupancy or 100 people, whichever is less. This includes events in hotels, conference/event centers, places of worship, etc.
  • All business establishments are strongly encouraged to operate at a capacity less than otherwise permitted to allow for more distancing within the establishment. Businesses are also encouraged to provide services remotely or in a manner maximizing social distancing such as curbside, pickup, delivery, etc.

*Masks required within Columbia city limits. Masks are strongly encouraged within Boone County.

Junior Achievement seeks virtual volunteers

Thank you to Junior Achievement’s Sheila Farrell, who spoke via Zoom at the August REDI Board meeting. Sheila spoke about Junior Achievement’s new JA Virtual Career Fair.

Junior Achievement is pivoting with the times and planning a JA Virtual Career Fair for 2020. With tomorrows more important than every, JA is seeking virtual volunteers to share their “job story” in short videos. The videos will be part of a virtual career fair to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy.

You can view Sheila’s presentation at

To learn more, visit, or contact Sheila Farrell at or 636-634-1116.


Missouri Partnership seeks input

The Missouri Partnership held focus groups to gather information toward designing a way to promote Missouri across business attraction, tourism and talent attraction.

Please click here to view the statewide aggregated results of the multiple choice questions that were asked during the focus groups.

The Missouri Partnership is looking for more input on these questions. Below is the link to the survey for the public to add to the data the Missouri Partnership is gathering. This data is essential to make sure that what comes out of the focus groups and survey represents ALL of Missouri.

Visit the survey here:

Thank you for your partnership in this important effort.